How to Find an Accredited Nursing College near Gig Harbor Washington
Searching for the right nursing program near Gig Harbor WA may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss the nursing degree choices that are available as well as what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Gig Harbor WA area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
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Nurses are an integral component of a Gig Harbor WA medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human side of the medical profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, including home care facilities, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Gig Harbor WA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Gig Harbor WA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Gig Harbor WA or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Washington and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Gig Harbor WA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Gig Harbor WA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Gig Harbor WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Gig Harbor WA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
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Education Needed To Become A Nurse Gig Harbor Washington
Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Education Needed To Become A Nurse and wanting more information on the topic Online Classes Nursing.. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Gig Harbor WA.
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Gig Harbor, Washington
Gig Harbor is one of several cities and towns that claim to be "the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula". Due to its close access to several state and city parks, and historic waterfront that includes boutiques and fine dining, it has become a popular tourist destination. Gig Harbor is located along State Route 16, about 6 mi (10 km) from its origin at Interstate 5, over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. A $1.2 billion project to add a second span to the bridge was completed in 2007. From Gig Harbor, Tacoma can be reached in under 20 minutes and Seattle in under an hour.
During a heavy storm in 1840, Captain Charles Wilkes brought the captain's gig (small boat) into the harbor for protection. Later, with the publication of Wilkes 1841 map of the Oregon Territory, he named the sheltered bay Gig Harbor.
Gig Harbor was officially incorporated on July 12, 1946. Commercial fishing, boat building, and logging dominated the economy until the construction of the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940. Until then, the primary method of transportation between Gig Harbor and the economic center of nearby Tacoma was by steamship. Starting in 1836, steamships started plying the waters of Puget Sound and quickly developed into what was eventually dubbed the "Mosquito Fleet". Gig Harbor, isolated from Tacoma and Seattle by Puget Sound and the Tacoma Narrows, could not be reached by automobile or horseback except by a very long and arduous trip south around Puget Sound and Hammersly Inlet. The boom was to be short lived, as the first bridge collapsed just months after it was completed. The resource demands of World War II prevented another bridge from being built until 1950. Between the time when the first bridge collapsed and when the second bridge was completed, a state-run ferry service delivered drivers directly into downtown Gig Harbor. Remains of the ferry dock can still be seen just outside the mouth of the harbor at the southeast end of Harborview Drive. The area has been turned into a small park, where the public can see a panoramic view of the Cascade Mountains, Point Defiance, and Mount Rainier.
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